Monday, November 27, 2006

Tenant Troubles?

Ever since I had temporary tenants at my home, I've been having a lot of people visiting my home lately. It seems to me that poh poh's some sort of human relatives magnet, attracting relatives from near and far to come see her. I was even surprised when amah said she wanted to come over and visit poh poh, which she did, yesterday. Seh yi has also been frequently visiting, making an effort to come from her home to spend some time with poh poh on afternoons, bringing Amelia along. While seh yi chats with poh poh, we will be taking turns to carry her in our arms or we just spend the entire time watching her poop, being fed or even cry (feisty one!)! I figured, if there's anything in the world that's worth you stopping for a moment to just watch and stare at, it's babies!

Through her many visits, and enthusiastically watching her change diapers and being fed, I realized that having a baby is something similar to owning a tamagotchi or a digimon or a pet (online or real) for that matter. Being me, I had all of the mentioned before. We go through all the trouble, emptying our pockets to purchase them and to take full responsibility on them (remember what you said to your mama when you wanted to bring that stray cat in?). After successfully managing to call it our own, we have to feed them, clean them, watch them, play with them and just wait for them to sprout fur, wings or superpower before we let them die after the lost of interest! Only in this case, babies are lifetime responsibilities and we only wait for it to sprout longer limbs besides watching them turn into pompous and annoying little devils!

Speaking of which, Edmund is undoubtedly one of those over-fortunate, spoilt little asses! Since Danushya came crashing our party to stay with us for the holidays, Edmund has been doing nothing else but filling his time with all the play he can get! Edmund has been taking every opportunity to pull that poor girl Danushya by the hand and make her play with him. Anything you can think off - PlayStation, UNO Cards, UNO Stacko, Monopoly, etc. Mind you, we do have a seemingly large collection of board games and puzzles over the years. He was going to get Twister out but after I lied to him about me throwing in it away since it tore the last time I played it, he decided to settle with Monopoly instead. Strange though,
eventhough she complains and whine at the beginning, Danushya seems to be happy when playing with Edmund.

A couple of nights ago, Edmund got this whole playing thing a little too far into his head. Carina was over for the night and we just finished a game of UNO cards and were preparing to go to bed, when Edmund started saying that he wanted to have a round of Monopoly. Danushya and Carina weren't being cooperative, seeing how boring Monopoly could be at 12a.m. which brought Edmund to a chant of some sort, going, "I wanna play, I wanna play, I wanna play, I wanna play!" It was nevertheless annoying and irritating because when I chose to ignore it, it really got on my nerves. Children just seem to be gifted when it comes to annoying chants, hysterical screams, hissy fits and

Carina covered herself with the blanket and went to sleep while Danushya left the room to go sleep with poh poh. I on the other hand, challenged him to the game when he refused to stop chanting. There were moments when I just wanted to storm out the room and wake dad up to fix him but instead, I laid out everything and even handed him the fake money and made him throw the dice. I mean, I really could do it if he was up for it. After realizing how stupid this was, his chanting got lowered down and I quickly took the opportunity to pester him back to sleep, which he finally relented to. This is what happens when a child gets too much playtime. It wouldn't take long before he starts sleep-talking in his sleeps which could get out of hands at times.

Since Danushya's here, her family has also taken an effort to come back to Penang more often, proven when they came back on Friday only after returning to their home on Tuesday. Usually, when they come back, they'll put up at poh poh's 3 bedroom apartment but this time, given that their daughter was here, they decided to crash at my place for a couple of days. Not that they're unwelcomed or anything. It's just that I have to do extra work and also put up with more screams and yells of laughters from the children and cheerful adult conversations over the dining table. After all, I am beginning to look (and work) more like the suburban housewife that I've always dreamt of being! The perfectionist Bree Van de Kamp or the busy Lynette Scavo?

The bottom line is, I've been pretty much spending (short and sleepless) nights at the living room, squeezed in with Carina and kai ma (she got the couch) and now, Grace. Yes, Carina and kai ma decided to crash in also, seeing that everyone's gathered here and I offered sam yi and her whole family my room, which pretty much explains the ache all over my body and the bags under my eyes. Besides, I kind of get the kick out of having to shift stone cold (literally!) bodies around the room in the dead of the night to get to my computer or just arrange them nicely so that everyone gets a space to sleep and then laughing to myself. Entertaining a crowd of hungry people and over-enthusiastic children also happens to be my specialty.

But the late night suppers and nearly-dawn bedtime really catches up with me sometimes, making me feel over the edge of bursting up into pieces and starts yelling at everyone to get out the house! Amazingly though, I do manage to keep a certain level of composure in front of my guests, wearing that smile only Bree does when I do feel like having an anxiety attack. See, the Chinese people (or maybe only this dysfunctional family) have this odd habit of gambling - yes, with poker cards and betting on real money with other relatives - especially on big occasions or the general get-together. I've always thought that it's a complete nuisance to be doing such a thing in front of all those little children, exposing them to the dangers of addictive gambling in the near future, but my cries fall on deaf ears. Strange way to catch up on family gossips, don't you think?

These people (who happens to be my family members) will gamble with all the time they've got (into senseless hours of the day!) as if gambling was the only last thing they'd like to do before the world comes to an end! They consider it as a way of bonding or catching up with one another but I think otherwise. Though, this sinful activity do (weirdly) manage to pull the most distant relatives back, and I've seen it happen more than once! It does get me worried at times that it might lead to a fight somewhere down the line, breaking family ties, but I'm hoping it would not, considering that the adults have a more rational thinking than we do. Oh well, might as well let it be what it is. Or maybe it's just in my nature that gambling and drinking doesn't appeal to me? I'd like to think that.

But anyway, they've all gone back - they still have jobs to attend to and for sam yi, being a teacher, she still has examinations going on - and the house only remains my initial temporary tenants. There is, of course a certain level of peace and quite that was longed for for the past couple of days, left for me to enjoy. Hell, that's the only reason why I could even write this without the constant blabbering of questions from one of the little cousins of mine or attempts of tiny little hands to master the keyboard! Certainly no more gambling and no more huge masses of hungry people to feed. I guess when you have a huge family, tolerance really do come into play a lot. Patience is a virtue. I still love having relatives coming around! Just that, I'll have to be more prepared the next time they decide to drop a bomb! Maybe I might have to run to the nearest pharmacy to get my supply of A.D.D pills?

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